I would say about 60% of Kuwait’s population above 16 years of age is on social media in some form or the other. As the social media scene continues to evolve over time, the competition to earn ears and eyeballs has become quite tough especially for the brands that are putting out content.
Many brands and marketers feel that their social media strategy needs to strike a balance between their audience’s needs and their brand’s business goals. To help create a somewhat balanced strategy, here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you embark on your social media journey.
- How does my social media strategy fit within my digital marketing strategy?
Your social media marketing efforts should be a part of your overall digital marketing strategy and should have some kind of harmony with your other digital (and sometimes) traditional marketing efforts. Offering a seamless integration between channels and touch-points gives customers and prospects the feeling of consistency and familiarity and this is an important ingredient to the customer journey.
- What is the objective of creating my channel?
Every strategy needs to be pointed towards a goal so as long as you have a goal that is realistic and measurable; you can work on achieving it. Examples of goals can be – increasing the number of followers on your Facebook by a certain amount, increasing engagement on your Instagram by 30%, boost referral traffic to your website by 40% etc. You should set benchmark goals that will help you measure the success of your efforts periodically so that you can keep track of your success.
- How will my brand measure effectiveness?
The benchmark goals I talked about in my previous sentence will come in handy here because they will help you determine if you have achieved your goals in a meaningful way. If you have, you’re on the right track and if you haven’t, it gives you a chance to reconfigure your channel, optimize your strategy and maybe even rethink it to better suit your master-plan.
- Who is my audience?
If you want to create a connection with your customers and followers, it is imperative that you understand their interests, desires and motivations. The best way to do this is to create a customer persona which is a general representation of who your customer is. Most social media channels offer basic analytics that are tailored to gather classified information like gender, age, interests etc. And if you want more specific information, there are quite a few paid services that can give you that kind of information. The idea here is to figure out which of your social media channels are working better than the others as well as the kind of content your customers consume or even in some cases, what actions are they taking.
- How often will I engage on each channel?
The consistency I talked about earlier in this article is the key to creating a kind of pattern with your followers on your channels. But that does not mean you have to post a dozen times a day on Instagram or on the flip side, post a new topic once every two weeks. Once your customer persona shows you how often your followers are reacting to your most optimized posts, you should get a bearing on how often the optimal time to post is and act on it. Be consistent on your channel but do not overwhelm your followers with content that will eventually push them away. The best way to handle this is to create a weekly or monthly plan that will give you sense of direction and to keep it flexible so that you can add and delete where necessary.
All your research and planning will be for nothing if you haven’t defined the tactics, tools and resources you’ll need to execute your strategy. Combine your social media strategy with your other digital and content marketing efforts and even your traditional marketing channels like print and radio to create a tactical mix that appeals to your target market. Also, make sure you define who within your organization will be responsible for execution and measurement of this plan.
Rest assured, if you ask yourself these questions before embarking on your social media journey, you are bound to make inroads into understanding your fans and customers better and all of this will eventually lead to more business.
Barry Rodrigues is Head of Marketing & Product Development at Future Communications and an associate advisor with the International Advisors Group in Kuwait. For comments, please feel free to email Barry at [email protected].